Rock Thrush   
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From the family of Turdidae

The Rock-Thrush in former times was placed under the Family Turdidae but since they are closer to the Family Muscicapidae. The Blue Rock Thrush eats a variety of insect, berries, seeds and small reptiles and has  a melodious call. As the name implies this is a bird associated with rock and mountainous region.

Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
White-throated Rock Thrush Monticola gularis

 

There are quite a few species of Rock Thrush and these are found in North western Africa, central Asia, northern China and Malaysia. Many Rock Thrushes including the Blue Rock Thrush are resident while the White-breasted Rock Thrush is wintering in Malaysia.

 

 

Blue Rock Thrush  Monticola solitarius madoci

 

 Size & diagnostic markings:- This is 22 cm bird size of a common Bulbul with dull grey blue plumage all round. Pictures would show the differences on breeding and non breeding birds

 Distribution :-  North west Africa, Middle East northern Asia and China. Then Taiwan down to the Philippines.
 Habitats & preferences:- Open rocky area, limestone cliff, roadside, cultivated areas, Mainly lowland but sometimes up in the mountain.
 In Malaysia, where can the bird be found:- So far I have seen the bird in Limestone hills on the lowland. Very common in Kek Loke Toong in Ipoh and the Limestone hills in Gua Musang. Both are lowland and little forested.
 
Record of bird's call:-    and Video:-
 
juvenile Rock Thrush # 1 non-breeding maleThrush # 2 breeding male Thrush # 3
female Thrush # 4 non breeding female Thrush # 5 Blue Rock Thrush #  6
Blue Rock Thrush # 7 Blue Rock Thrush # 8 Blue Rock Thrush # 9
non-breeding male Thrush # 10 non-breeding male Thrush # 11 non-breeding male Thrush # 12
 
 My personal jottings on the Blue Rock Thrush:-

 The Blue Rock Thrush is the national bird for the island of Cyprus and its image used to appear in the coin for the island republic. This is a timid bird and very familiar with visitors to the temple.

White-throated Rock Thrush  Monticola gularis

 

 Size & diagnostic markings:- The bird is marginally small than the Blue Rock Thrush but it real life looks like a small Flycatcher when it is 18.5 cm long. Light blue crown on chestnut lores, rump, upper tail and upper parts. Blue with black wings.

 Distribution :-  South Eastern Siberia, Russia, North-eastern China, and North Korea. Could be a vagrant in Malaysia
 Habitats & preferences:- This is a bird of the hills and low mountain
 In Malaysia, where can the bird be found:- So far only Maxwell Hills has being mentioned,
 
Record of bird's call :-    and Video:-
 
White-throated Rock Thrush # 1 White-throated Rock Thrush # 2 White-throated Rock Thrush # 3
White-throated Rock Thrush # 4 White-throated Rock Thrush # 5 White-throated Rock Thrush #  6
White-throated Rock Thrush # 7 White-throated Rock Thrush # 8 White-throated Rock Thrush # 9
White-throated Rock Thrush # 10 White-throated Rock Thrush # 11 White-throated Rock Thrush # 12
 
 My personal jottings on the White-throated RockThrush:-

 First of all the White-throated Rock Thrush while having same body profile with the Blue Rock Thrush is very much different in size. The second point with this bird unlike other Rock Thrush, this bird do not like Rocky area instead prefer dense forest with matured trees, temperate forest and forest Ares that are very moist. But they still make their nest in holes found in rocky surfaces. Anyway this is a migratory bird that breeds in China. This bird was seen in the wet Maxwell Hills forest, Hill top in Bukit Timah, Singapore and Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. There is a good chance that the bird keep visiting the same spot in every migratory session.

 

Both birds have very specific habitats and seen in limited confine. This information do not give much clue as to where else to meet up with the Blue Rock thrush. The White-throated Rock Thrush is even more difficult as it chooses the tiny confine to rest for the winter. But the good point is that the bird stayed in one location for long time i.e. throughout its whole migratory season.